Stone City Stragglers
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Stone City Stragglers

Band Americana Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"The Last Resort -- Album Review"

If nothing else, the Stone City Stragglers can claim to be the most dapper band on the planet. Fortunately they also did a pretty stylish record to go along with it. The Last Resort is a compilation of sorts, a mix of the variety of styles and sounds that make up altcountry. Maybe not entirely a unique concept as they seem to owe a certain amount to Whiskeytown, but there’s something else to the Stone City Stragglers. Unlike Whiskeytown they can rock, and rock exceptionally well too. And it’s probably these tracks that make this album a cut above a lot of other newer altcountry out there. Don’t believe me? If "One Night" with its Suspicious Minds sounding licks and sing-along-at-the-top-of-your-voice-whilst-driving chorus doesn’t convince you, then maybe "Passing Lane" will. It has to be said that "Passing Lane" might just be the finest song by a female artist I’ve heard in a long time. Am I putting Allison Moroni of The Stone City Stragglers up there with the likes of Lucinda, Dolly, Emmylou et al? Well judging by her songs here and "Passing Lane" in particular, yes. Song writing and singing honours are shared between Allison and Brent James in the main, but the liner notes indicate a much more collective effort on the song writing and crafting. Obviously this has contributed to the more eclectic nature of the album, but not, thank god, in a case of too many cooks.

Stone City Stragglers may not break any new boundaries, but what they have done, they have done exceptionally well.
- Carl Anders --

"Last Resort -- Album Review 2"

If anyone ever asks you what "Americana" is, lend them this CD. The Last Resort, the second CD from the Joliet, Illinois based Stone City Stragglers is the second sign (the success of Bloodshot Records being the first) that the true heart of country music isn't in Nashville, but Chicagoland. Their vocals are top-notch. On "Passing Lane," Allison Moroni puts down a challenge to Neko Case's claim to the throne of Patsy Cline. The entire CD, from stem to stern is full of harmonies tighter than a drum. The lyrics are substantial, with real feeling in them. Songs like "Things Left Unsaid", "One Night," and "Wicked Moon" go right to the heart. The musicianship is wonderful, going from traditional country to latin-tinged to straight up Americana and back again with nary a hitch. Neither dry and flat nor over-produced, the production and engineering are on par with the music. The harmonies are nice and even, the instruments are all easy to hear, and that "being right there" feeling comes through. What might be the best thing about The Last Resort is that the Stone City Stragglers have clearly found their voice and direction. The CD isn't just a collection of songs - it's a statement, and I like what it says.

- Clint Weathers --

"Last Resort -- Album Review 3"

Mystifying, refreshing and awe-aspiring are all words that can be used to describe the Stone City Stragglers' latest release. It's not often that a vocal duo can solidify into such a magical combination as Brent James and Allison Moroni of the Stone City Stragglers have managed to accomplish. It hasn't been since the days of Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown that music has sounded so good. Hailing from the Illinois Prison City of Joliet, the Stragglers have released their sophomore album "Last Resort," which is anything but what the title suggests. The band, having only been together for two years, is a well-accomplished sextet of some of the hardest working musicians in the state. It's hard to imagine a sound as meticulously beautiful as the warm melodies of James and Moroni that can make you tap your boot, send a chill down your spine and bring a tear to your eye all at once.

The SCS have cast aside the rules in the Alt. Country Handbook and made available twelve originals written by various members of the band, adding diversity culminated with passion. Whether it's the solo writings of Moroni, James, Bret Figura, Phil Lazzari, or the co-writes of James and wife Karen Moats, you'll be able to look deep into the souls of people and walk away feeling as if you've lived the song. Chock-full of waltzes and two-steppers that are appropriate for any mood, give one listen and you'll see that the band is determined to make their mark in the Alt. Country history book.

Make no mistake about it, "The Last Resort" musically possesses more than the qualities of a country album. Given a closer listen you'll find that the lyrics on tracks like "Things Left Unsaid," "Lonesome Day," "Wicked Moon" and "One Night" penetrate the heart with tales of love, loneliness and deceit in a way that the best blues albums of our time are accredited for. You can hear/feel the emotion in the anguished vocals of Moroni, who, at the height of her performances ("Clay Pigeons", and "Passing Lane"), steals the crown from reigning Alt. Country queens Neko Case and Kelly Hogan. This is the music that you grew up listening to. There's a distinct familiarity to it that makes it instantly appealing, and the infectious raw energy of the band can't be ignored. You've heard of the Hottest Thing in Cowtown. Well, now you'll be the first to hear the Hottest Thing in Prison Town. Grab a beer, pull up a stool and make yourself at home at The Last Resort. You'll be glad you did.


Little Misfortunes and Innocent Mistakes -- 2003
The Last Resort -- 2004
Yes, we have streaming audio via the website and have had radio airplay across the country.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Stone City Stragglers are a six-piece band from Joliet, IL., also known as Stone City because of the limestone that was used to build the infamous prison walls and other historic buildings. Being native stragglers of Joliet, the name was fitting.

Since 2002, SCS has been carving a name for itself in the Americana/Alt. Country scene. Their 2004 release, The Last Resort, gained the attention of reviewers and fans across the U.S. and abroad. With their passionate live show, the band has recently opened for such acts as Drive-By Truckers, Jon Dee Graham, Reckless Kelly, Deana Carter, Caitlin Cary, Thad Cockrell, and followed up Julie Roberts and Clint Black's performances at the 27th Annual Chicago Country Music Festival during the Taste of Chicago in 2005. More recently, the band played the T.O. Twangfest in Toronto, Canada, sharing the bill with other renowned acts.

Brent and Karen have been married ten years and have two children together. At the Taste of Chicago, their 7-year-old daughter joined the band on stage to help sing "No Strangers" and got a huge ovation by the large crowd.